The Yankees will be favored for two reasons: A prevailing wisdom the American League fields a superior product, and Mariano Rivera. For the Phillies, they'll lay low as usual and focus on four more wins.
A neutral bystander watching the ALCS and NLCS, resistant to big media bias, would observe that the Phillies, by a slim margin, have played a better brand of baseball than the Yankees during the postseason. Coming off a pair of comfortable series wins, the ballyhooed tenacity and fundamental soundness of the Los Angeles squads proved unfounded. The Angels committed eight errors, not to mention the bone-headed baserunning. Meanwhile, the Phillies applied the pressure to a Dodgers’ pitching staff in over their heads with guys like Vicente Padilla, Clayton Kershaw and Jonathan Broxton.
The World Series will be billed as blue-collared grit vs. white-collar precision, which is utterly stupid. The Phillies are loaded with talent. They'll throw a pair of former Cy Young winners and reigning World Series MVP at them, backed by a run-production engine fired by red-hot Ryan Howard. Meanwhile, the Yankees have renewed toughness and have come back on teams all season. A-Rod has shuttered his staunchest critics. They’re lock-down with Rivera in the last inning.
I won’t blow smoke and tell you I know all there is to know about the Yankees, but I can say the Phillies are scoring nearly a full run more per game this postseason, they're fearless on the road, Cliff Lee gives them an even chance against CC, and as much as I hate to factor in facial ticks, the Phils have the look of a team that expects to win it again. This was the matchup I wanted, and it was the matchp the Phillies wanted. Whatever your pick, it has all the trappings of a true fall classic.